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50 indigenous T-90 tanks to roll out this year

A file photo of T-90 Main Battle Tank

NEW DELHI (PTI): Russia has agreed to provide India kits for 50 T-90 Main Battle Tanks under a transfer of technology agreement for indigenous production, which will enable the army to raise an armoured regiment by the year-end.

"The 50 T-90 tanks would roll out soon this year, as part of the Transfer of Technology agreement," a top Defence Ministry official said here today.

"The indigenous production under technology transfer was part of the discussion that an Indian team led by Defence Secretary Vijay Singh had in Moscow this week," he said.

The production of 50 T-90 tanks would enable the Army to raise an armoured regiment by the end of this year.

New Delhi had signed for 310 T-90 tanks in February 2001 in a USD 795 million deal, under which the first lot of 124 tanks were picked off the shelf and another 186 imported in a semi-knocked-down condition for assembly in Avadi-based Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) near Chennai.

In 2006, India also decided to indigenously produce nearly 1,000 T-90s under a technology transfer agreement with Russia to make it the backbone of its Army's armoured vehicles strength. The indigenous production was to take place till 2020.

Last year, India placed an add-on order for additional 330 T-90 tanks, indicating it would be its MBT for the next decade or so.

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